In the reign of Charles II, Jordan and his mother, the Dog Woman, live on the banks of the stinking Thames, where they take in sights ranging from the first pineapple in London to Royalist heads on pikes As a young man, Jordan leaves to travel the world, seeking wonder and knowledge, and learns that every journey conceals another within it Sexing The Cherry celebrates the power of the imagination as it playfully juggles with our perceptions of history and reality love and sex lies and truths and the twelve dancing princesses who lived happily ever after, but not with their husbands II don t know what just happened I think I need to go reread some parts of this book, or at least think it over again because I am so darn confused.But as for what I did understand, there are parts of this book that are bewitching, and then there are parts that drag so much it is as if there is no life in them.This was a vintage twin set, basically I got the book for free along with Mary Shelley s Frankenstein The set is called Vintage Monsters So I guess I ll spend tonight thinking about II don t know what just happened I think I need to go reread some parts of this book, or at least think it over again because I am so darn confused.But as for what I did understand, there are parts of this book that are bewitching, and then there are parts that drag so much it is as if there is no life in them.This was a vintage twin set, basically I got the book for free along with Mary Shelley s Frankenstein The set is called Vintage Monsters So I guess I ll spend tonight thinking about all these confusing parts, and just how this is a monster book that connects to Frankenstein So having thought about this, I realize that the Dog Woman is considered a monster, because she s ugly, and huge, and kills people She never really terrified me, so I guess I didn t pick up on that immediately Frankenstein and Sexing the Cherry both have monsters who maybe only be monsters because they have been alienated, and hated because they are so different Society shuns them, can t accept them, and the anger and pain build up Deep behind all this anger and pain, are two rather loving creatures, lost in thought People will believe anything Except, it seems, the truth I am in awe of Jeanette Winterson s writing I don t know how else to put it After The Passion, I honestly thought I could not beimpressed But I think Sexing The Cherry may be even better I suspect that her short novels should be read again as soon as you have added another one to your repertoire, because there are recurring themes and fruity flavours that are definitely part of Winterson s general narrative Sexing the Che People will believe anything Except, it seems, the truth I am in awe of Jeanette Winterson s writing I don t know how else to put it After The Passion, I honestly thought I could not beimpressed But I think Sexing The Cherry may be even better I suspect that her short novels should be read again as soon as you have added another one to your repertoire, because there are recurring themes and fruity flavours that are definitely part of Winterson s general narrative Sexing the Cherry is all about the strange correlation between past, present and future, and the way human beings navigate time and space, physically and in their imagination It is about the places we really go to and the things we experience in our minds What is real What is true If I see something in my head, does that mean it has happened, even if I just imagine it And I sing of other times, when I was happy, though I know that these are figments of my mind and nowhere I have ever been But does it matter if the place cannot be mapped as long as I can still describe it Sexing the Cherry is a tale of love, crossing borders of time and space, linking people despite all odds It is a story about freedom and chains, about making choices and exploring the world outside It is harsh reality and fantastical imagination It can be interpreted in many ways and I am sure it speaks to every reader in a different way I actually happen to know that for a fact, because I had a silent co reader on the first 31 pages I bought my copy of the novel second hand, and in the margins I found comments from the previous owner, and they increasingly drove me up the walls I don t mind marking books at all I do it all the time myself, but in this case I found myself in a noisy conversation, where I tried to listen to the author and the characters, while someone else was telling me basic facts Monstrosity Well yeah, it is a giant woman No secret there Pregnancy Thanks for the clarification, I would never have guessed Gay Do you know ANYTHING about Jeanette Winterson s fiction Cross dressing A most beautiful reminiscence of Virginia Woolf s Orlando , another traveller in time and space Religion Well, see note on Gay And so on Until the comments stopped abruptly after 31 pages, leaving me to guess whether my co reader gave up or finally got sucked into the story and stopped wondering about the different topics thrown together in a creative mix.What really annoyed me was the comment next to the sentence I have seen a banana My reading partner underlined the fruit and wrote Penis Well, yes And no One of the amazing things about reading Jeanette Winterson is her magical way of describing reality She does not hide homo sexuality, religion, cross dressing or brutal violence, so I don t see why it needs to be pointed out all the time On the other hand, she gives her storylines several layers of meaning, so that the complexity of human desire and exploration is in focus, not a banal equation of word and meaning The banana in the story is so muchthan x 2 0, therefore x 2 At some point, the banana incident is explained further When I was little, my mother took me to see a great wonder It was about 1633, I think, and never before had there been a banana in England So yes, it is a phallic symbol, and Winterson does not hide that at all, but it is also a symbol for discovering things you didn t know before, things that you have access to because the world has opened up The book was written in 1989, and for parts of Europe, the banana became a symbol of free access to the world market Reading Eastern European authors of that era, you inevitably stumble upon bananas sooner or later I just got mad at the one dimensional interpretation delivered by the person reading MY copy of this beloved book before me But thanks for dumping it in a thrift store, my book budget is constantly strained Onething short of typing up the book in its entirety here, I can t give it appropriate credit that literally illustrates the multi faceted story there are little drawings at the beginning of each section, indicating who is currently telling the story Bananas and pineapples It took me a while to register that they are sometimes cut in half, and that they tell a tiny story on the side lines of the main plot if there is such a thing This is an art in itself, which I have seen most exquisitely done in Maggot Moon And just like in Maggot Moon , the art and the title make sense, but not straight away, and not without thinking for a while Won t sayabout it I would say, Winterson is a queen of her art, and a queen of the human heart I can t imagine there is a simpler way of showing how people express their love than this beautiful scene of a son leaving his tidy, orderly parents to go to the navy I eat all my peas first and this annoys them On that last day, however, when the family can t find words to express the love, and loss, and worry, he reflects I tried to leave my peas till last Nothingneeds to be said about the effort we put in to show our love, the symbolic little gestures that are only understandable if you are part of that specific unit of love.Enough said Read it if you like complex stories and many meanings, if you love poetry and truth and to travel between different times and places while staying in your reading chair If you look for literal translation of symbolic language, I guarantee you that you will be successful as well, and find at least twenty translations from metaphor to plain meaning until page 31 If you can tell me what purpose it serves I will complete the exercise for the rest of my copy Sorry, sometimes my sarcasm steals the keyboard Jeannette Winterson is one of my all time favorite writers and I m constantly recommending this slim book For what it lacks in girth, the book makes up for in substance I have neverfuriously scribbled passages down in my journal for future reference.The story itself is entertaining enough to merit the book worth a read The premise is reminiscent of a Brother s Grimm fairy tale you know, back when fairy tales were sort of dark, creepy, and a little scary, before Disney got its hands on Jeannette Winterson is one of my all time favorite writers and I m constantly recommending this slim book For what it lacks in girth, the book makes up for in substance I have neverfuriously scribbled passages down in my journal for future reference.The story itself is entertaining enough to merit the book worth a read The premise is reminiscent of a Brother s Grimm fairy tale you know, back when fairy tales were sort of dark, creepy, and a little scary, before Disney got its hands on them.But it s Winterson s introspection on love and relationships, their possibilities and their limits, conveyed deftly through her inventive fables, that make me love this book Date 15 January 23rd JanuaryTime 19 00 20.15Location The BoxExcerpt from interview with P BryantDetective Munch Thing is, my literary friend, you got no proof.PB Proof Det Munch Anyone can invent an identity and claim to have read like a zillion books and then post up fake reviews Anyone I could pay 15 year olds to do it PB Well, so what That s the internet for you Who cares Det Pembleton Who cares Did you hear that John Who cares We care Let me explain a little This Good Date 15 January 23rd JanuaryTime 19 00 20.15Location The BoxExcerpt from interview with P BryantDetective Munch Thing is, my literary friend, you got no proof.PB Proof Det Munch Anyone can invent an identity and claim to have read like a zillion books and then post up fake reviews Anyone I could pay 15 year olds to do it PB Well, so what That s the internet for you Who cares Det Pembleton Who cares Did you hear that John Who cares We care Let me explain a little This Goodreads thing, it used to be nothing much, a few book geeks with no social life, who gave a tinker s damn one way or the other But now, now s different.Det Munch Now you have like 20 million people on this site Now it s big Now you get mentions in Fortune magazine You know Fortune That s like when rich people notice Have you heard of rich people Yeah When they notice, it s important.Det Pembleton So we see that you reviewed this Jeanette Winterson novel here, er, Sexing The Cherry , and awarded it a whole two stars, I mean, come on buddy, where s your proof that you even read this damn thing PB It was years ago There s no proof You just have to take my word.Det Munch As a man of honour PB Well, er, I probably wouldn t quite use those words.Det Munch Well, let s see if we can figure this thing out May I direct your attention to these three mug shots Take your time Tell us which one is Jeanette Winterson He takes photos of Jeanette Winterson, Sara Waters and Ellen Degeneres and spreads them on the table.PB Er this doesn t prove anything.Det Pembleton Not in itself Let s say it s an indicator PB stabs blindly at the photo of Ellen Degenares.Det Pembleton Did you see that, Detective Munch The interviewee has indicated the photo of Ellen Degeneres who is an American television personality and not an English novelist Det Munch I did see that, Frank I take that to be indicative.PB Anyhow, how did I get here You guys, you re Balti murder cops I seen you in that show.Det Munch We re on secondment You re right, this fake reviewing crime isn t murder except in the sense of murdering a writer s reputation with fake reviews and fake ratings and general fake fakery You do realise that your fake reviews get Google hits This is not some nerdy game This is real life PB The last thing I remember I was at home I heard a hissing noise it was a kind of gas coming through my front door keyhole and I woke up here I ve read about this this is called extraordinary rendition Det Pembleton Well, could be extraordinary to you, but not to us Come on, let s quit the amusing back and forth did you really read this novel PB Yes Years ago Det Munch And what did you think of it PB It was weird and phantasmagorical Det Munch Much like her other one The Passion which you also read PB Yes no yes Different But similar Oh, I don t know.Det Pembleton John, let s leave Mr Bryant to think things over for a minute or so They leave The Box and join the Goodreads editorial staff who have been observing the interview through the two way mirror Det Pembleton He ll break They all do, eventually